When “living the dream” became a nightmare

After raising two young children in a small apartment in Greenwich Village, my wife, Kate Rhoden, and I were thrilled to move to the close-knit community of Royton in the summer of 1997. Our son had been accepted into a nearby nursery school. Kate hosted a silent auction panel for the Civic Association. When it came time for our son’s fourth birthday party, she invited all of his classmates and their parents.

Everything seemed to be moving in the right direction, until September 14, 1998, when an incomprehensible tragedy occurred.

Kate was supposed to get a “routine” allergy shot first thing in the morning, and then she planned to introduce our kids (Neil, 4; Claire, 2 1/2) to her colleagues at a public relations firm in Stamford and then have their nanny drive the kids, Pete.

Within minutes, Kate went into anaphylactic shock when Neil looked into her eyes. An employee called 911, initially reporting an asthma emergency, but it took two additional calls to 911 for emergency medical personnel to arrive. Another employee quickly moved Neil to a nearby conference room and gave him an Oreo and a coloring book while his colleagues rushed to get an emergency cart that was supposed to contain intravenous epinephrine and a tourniquet. He had neither, according to a later affidavit.

By the time she arrived at the allergist’s office in Norwalk, Kate was on a stretcher at the front entrance, looking lifeless with an emergency tracheostomy tube as the EMTs loaded her onto an ambulance.

As I headed toward it, looking for signs of life, two doctors nearby demanded my identification.

I said: “I am her husband.” “Does she realize that she (and her twin sister) lost Their father When they were four?

“Let’s go inside and talk to the allergist,” one of the doctors replied.

The allergist looked exhausted and administered bromide, which did nothing to dispel the feeling that a serious medical error had been made. He eventually drove me to the emergency room at Norwalk Hospital, where Kate was officially pronounced dead.

Later, the allergist walked me to my car and was so remorseful that he offered to check with the malpractice insurance company to see what they could do for me and my kids. But nothing of this gesture ever happened. The result was four and a half years of lawsuits that were settled only after an expert witness identified a number of preventable medical errors.

What made this case even more ridiculous was that two investigators with the Connecticut Department of Public Health did little to investigate the cause of this tragedy.

For a while, the allergist’s state registry showed only a superficial mention of a settlement on his behalf, but nothing about the botched shot that robbed two children of their mother. Now there is no record of this “negative result” (as it is called in the industry).

This story prompted several front-page articles per hour. A 12 News reporter interviewed me between wakes. When the funeral mass ended, photographers recorded the family and friends leaving the church.

Grateful for the compassion and support we received from the community, our family will always remember Kate’s glowing smile, quick wit, and feisty sense of humor. Hopefully a memorial plaque at the nursery school or a memorial bench near the first tee at Oak Hills Golf Course will add to her legacy. As fall allergy season approaches, we pray that anyone getting allergy vaccines will choose a doctor more prepared for emergencies than ours.

Steve Giovone, a 26-year-old Norwalk resident, spent the first half of his career in journalism, including journalism. Stamford Attorney And New York timesThe other half is in financial services, including Morgan Stanley, UBS, Lord Abbett, and Virtus Investment Partners, where he recently retired.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *